LISTED Converge ICT Solutions, Inc. said on Thursday that it plans to soft-launch fixed broadband services in Mindanao next month.

“For Mindanao, Converge will have a soft launch slated next month. We will update you on this once details are available,” the company said in a statement to BusinessWorld via phone message, attributing it to Converge Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Dennis Anthony H. Uy.

“We already have customers in Mandaue City, Cebu,” Converge added.

In an e-mailed news release, the listed company said its expansion to the Visayas and Mindanao regions has been “progressing as planned.”

“By targeting to substantially complete our backbone by the first half of 2021, we hope to commercially launch by the second half of the year so that we can reach more provinces,” Converge Chief Operating Officer Jesus C. Romero was quoted as saying in the statement.

The company’s expansion project aims to connect more than 20 landing stations throughout the Philippines via 1,800 kilometers of submarine sea cables.

Aside from Cebu and Davao, Converge also targets to cover Iloilo and Negros Occidental.

“Only about 10% of the market has been covered by high-speed broadband fiber internet,” Mr. Uy said in the news release.

“The completion of the company’s national backbone will steadily increase residential subscribers and enterprise segments,” he added.

Converge expects to spend P20 billion on its national expansion efforts this year, as it targets to cover about 35% of the country’s households by December.

The company saw its net income for 2020 surge 78% to P3.39 billion from P1.91 billion in 2019.

Total revenues increased 71% to P15.65 billion from P9.14 billion.

Its EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization) grew 76% to P8.22 billion from P4.67 billion, booking a margin of 52.5% from 51% in 2019.

Converge ICT Solutions shares closed 2.42% higher at P17.78 apiece on Thursday. — Arjay L. Balinbin